Sir Princess Petra’s Talent – by Diane Mae Robinson – Review

First of all, this book comes with a synopsis of the first book of the series, for the lazy ones out there who prefer skimming to reading, that is. But why would you want to skim with this series? Unless you are idiot, you’d be kicking yourself if you don’t read them all. This particular book reminds me a lot of the childhood stories of kings, queens and princesses I used to read years ago. This book is however suitable not just for kids but also adults; its dialogs are so elevated that you, the reader, are never for once treated like kids. The style itself is quite reminiscent of old school fairy tale adventures, but the author weaves the tale in a rather unconventional style which makes it quite interesting and entertaining, something that you can read page after page without yawning! Here is a sample passage from the book:

“The king gave his you-had-better-be-quiet glare toward Petra, then continued to read, loudly, “The hereby-said Princess Knight will acquire a talent certificate or be in forfeit of this royal rule. Forfeiting this royal rule will entitle the royal magician to turn the hereby-said Princess Knight into a frog to live in the bogs for a period of five years.” The king smirked and plopped back onto his chair. “You made that all up!” Petra gave her best that’s-not-fair stare. “”

Now I don’t know about you but I have never read quite anything like that in my life! Not to mention that the story successfully provides you a glimpse at a princess who is not treated the way she wants to be treated; now, in how many traditional fairy tales do you find that kind of stuff? To top it all, the dragon in this story is more of a ‘culinary’ tool rather than the traditional ferocious, fire-belching creatures we are all accustomed to!

“Snarls, wearing a white chef’s hat and a ruffled apron, had just entered the room juggling six shiny, silver trays of hors d’oeuvres.”

Along with the dialogs and descriptions, the illustrations in this book further help the reader in visualizing all the characters just as they are imagined by the author. The epilogue is quite apt.

Suffice it to say, the book is quite suitable for young children because its short chapters, easily digestible lucid prose and interesting characters are the perfect recipe for keeping children glued to it. On the other hand, it comes with a very solid story written in an unconventional style which is sure to attract adult readers as well (like it attracted me). There is plenty of humor included in the style to attract both kids and adults.

“The crowd stopped their whimpering, muttering, shaking, crying, gasping, whining, and fire breathing. Even the king and queen seemed to have come back to their senses and appeared to be listening. All eyes focused on Petra. She smiled as she gazed over the crowd. “Stories are a good thing.” In no time, the crowd was going wild with the idea. “Story! Story! Story!” they shouted in unison, raising one arm with each new shout.”

Highly recommended!

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